FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE LOST SHEEP AND THE LOST COIN
November 3, 2016
Today’s reading: Luke 15:1-10
The New Evangelization is about bringing lapsed and nominal Catholics back to God and back to the Church. It is re-evangelizing people who can only be considered baptized pagans. And there are a lot of them! In the parable of the lost sheep, one out of 100 sheep is lost (v.4). But the reality in the Church is that 99 of the 100 sheep are lost!! If the one lost sheep is found and brought back to the sheepfold, “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” (v.7a). What more if the 99 are found and brought back?! There will be boisterous celebration in heaven!
This is why LCSC is so important. Its aim is to mainstream Catholic lay evangelization. It intends to go into the grassroots and peripheries to search out the lost sheep. Its task is to raise more workers to bring in the rich harvest, and those workers are already there in the parishes, just waiting to be given a new vision and inspired to have a renewed resolve.
Now I will give the second parable, the parable of the lost coin, a new twist. A great need for the massive work of evangelization LCSC is capable of doing is money. Unfortunately, the 9 out of 10 coins are missing from Church coffers. Catholics are the cheapskates among all Christian churches, denominations, sects and even cults. The money of Catholics is lost to the Church (the money is actually there in people’s pocketbooks). The woman in the parable is the Church (a mother) who should have ten coins for mission but loses not only one, but nine! We need ten times the amount of what is currently being given to the Church by parishioners and other Catholics.
Having all ten coins, then a truly massive work of evangelization can be done, with full-time missionaries, widespread mission travel, needed equipment and facilities, publications and massive use of social media, and so on. This mission work must be funded by Catholics who are part of the LCSC movement or are active parishioners, and not by those we are evangelizing (like charging participants in a renewal program). The gospel is given free of charge.
The woman, upon finding the one lost coin, “calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’” (v.9). She threw a party. Now what if our Church found the nine coins that should be in her coffers but are withheld by Catholics? And thus now be able to do a really massive work of evangelization and mission, with the potential to reach the lapsed or lost or nominal one billion Catholics throughout the world? “I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God” (v.10a).
I think Jesus would even do the dance of joy.
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